Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

First Adviser

Cheng, Xuanhong

Other advisers/committee members

Jedlicka, Sabrina; Zhang, Xiaohui; Gilchrist, James; Ou-Yang, Daniel


In recent years, microfluidics has been developed into a great tool for research and practical applications. Microfluidic systems are usually tens to hundreds of microns in size, enabling small volumes fluids handling. It has been applied in many disciplines, including chemistry, biology and medicine. Many advantages of microfluidics stem directly from the reduction in size and also the ability to integrate with microsensors and microactuators. The advantages include low reagent and sample volumes, compatibility with highly parallel experiments, ability to better simulate the natural physiology environment, ability to isolate factors of the cellular microenvironment and to spatially and temporally control individual experimental parameter, and low cost.This dissertation focuses on developing and optimizing appropriate microfluidics for in vitro cell analysis system with patient's body fluids as input and information on patient's health state as output. The steps include isolating cells of interest from patient's sample, maintaining cell culture, differentiating cells and analyzing the molecules secreted by cells. This dissertation has achieved 1) enhancement of cell isolation efficiency of Jurkat cells by creating nanotopography in flatbed immunoaffinity microfluidics; 2) systematically developed maintenance and differentiation protocols in microfluidics for C17.2 NSCs; and 3) enhanced immunoaffinity detection of cell secretion molecules using biotin as a model by introducing a combination of thermophoresis and convection induced by a mild temperature gradient in microfluidics. With successful demonstration and optimization of these microfluidic functions, it is hoped an easy, portable, low cost POC (point of care) microfluidic system can be developed and made available for health monitoring and/or disease diagnostics.